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Sunday 29 March 2015

sometimes Running is HARD.

Sometimes running is hard.

If you ever make that statement to someone who doesn't run, you get: 
Why on EARTH do you run? 
What the Hell do you do THAT for? 
How can the even be FUN?

If you run, you might know what I mean when I say it is hard. Hard is relative. Each of us have something about the run that is hard.

The getting up an hour or two early to run. The times that you just wish you could pull those covers over your head. The actual act of running. The burning. The pain of chafe. OMG!!! THE PAIN!! The thought of "I cannot do this!", "Who the eff thought this was a good idea"! The actual physical pain of injury. They physical HURT of not running.

Well THAT sounds fun doesn't it! Who wants to go for a run? (hands shoot up all over the interwebs)

Whoa. This may be a bit heavy compared to some of my sparkly, smiley, holy crap I did it posts.

Sooo then. WHY RUN?

Because despite all those things that might suck (albeit temporarily) something happens on the run.
Because. THIS happens.
The voice that tells you you cannot shuts up and you conquer. Sometimes you learn something while you are running, sometimes it takes days, weeks, months after a run to find the nugget of wisdom that is life changing. You do something you never thought possible. And then you want more.
I am not fast. I don't win age groups. I run for fun. And so no one gets hurt. I run to be awesome.
But, lately, I have had some hard times. And hard runs. And really freaking awesome ones. Since coming back from Arizona in January, I have felt overwhelmed. Not by running. By life. By anxiety.I told one person I needed help. I told another. I went to the doctor, got some medication -- I take a small dose of serotonin. Panic attacks have stopped. The inability to get out bed or stop crying has stopped. I have continued to run - sometimes not as much as I "should" but it is getting better. I don't share this sort of stuff a lot ...cause I sort of don't have a great answer. I have a lot of stress in my life - needing a full time job is overwhelming.

So I run. Some days are great. Some suck. If I didn't run, shit would get serious. I walk every single day - a minimum of 5km every day. Weekly run mileage averages 30-70km. Sometimes higher depending if I have a race.

Not sure why I am sharing ... I just am. Perhaps you might find something useful in it. Perahps it will help you share. With who ever you need to share whatever it is you may need to.

Maybe I need a "Why I Run" post.

What has gotten me through some of this hard wave of dispair is running. Making a run date that i CANNOT break. Having a coffee. Knowing that you have friends who understand and who have "been there" and who get you. Having a silly silly laugh with them.

I also find motivation in small things. Look for those small things - they really do help. I like finding signs when I run (or when I am exploring my city  or visiting others)!

I look for something that speaks to me - there are signs everywhere. Painted on bins, on the pavement. Messages in art. Beauty in nature. 
And yes...the whore sign (which used to be painted on one of my regular trails)
makes me howl with laughter. So that's a good thing. 

Slowly but surely...I am finding light. More Light. Less Worry. 
And it is running -- and all the GOOD that comes from running -- that helps. 
And the amazing people I have let in to tell. 
That I worry. That I am anxious. That I need to run. Let's go. 

So where does this post go? Maybe its my ode to running. Do what you love. Love what you do. It helps you live life. Having friends or family who love you no matter what. THAT is what will get you through any hard time. And, ask for help or a hand if you need it.
So to those who are there for me -- near and far -- 
 over the past few years, the past few months, the past week, and all the miles ...

I love you
You give me strength and make me want to be and do better.

Friday 27 March 2015

FABFriday: Oui! Oui!

It's been a bit of a long week!
Finished one job, started another, interviewed for a a few more...gah!!!
But glory be ---> YES! It's #FABFriday!
It has been a great week tho...great runs with friends -
giving me a much better insight into "I Can" approach to running.
Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
Accept NO imitations.
Laugh yer arse off.

Can you believe we are at the end of March?
Time is whizzing by ... only one month til my birthday (that number is bothering me - ugh).
Right now I have no races in April - just training for a big ol FAB month of May!
oooh - a 30km race, two half maras and a 10k race.
Oh! I think its best if I don't say all that out loud again.

Or maybe I just tell myself there is wine at the finish.

Tell me all about your FAB plans!

Monday 23 March 2015

RnR Vegas Baby!

ooh! Vegas!!! YES! Can I go now? Sadly no...But I CAN start planing for it now! Exciting news on the Rock 'n' Roll front: RnRLV registration opens April 1st! Are you going?
I am stoked to be headed there for my first Vegas race!
I have done a couple RnRs ... 
hoping to have a couple (hmm San Jose or Montreal?? and Vancouver) more done before Vegas!!! 
YES! Me and Susan and a whole bunch of other FAB RocknBlog team members will be going
It's going to be a PARTAY! 

Celebrate with a Vegas Kick Off Runand get a free shirt! 
So what's the scoop on #LVKICKOFFNIGHT?
Just do a 5km (3.1 mile) run anytime between Now and April 1,
 fill out your deets HERE and in a few weeks a new shirt is yours. 
Oh yeh...and share some selfies on FB, IG and Twitter and see who else is joining the party. 

Susan and have already planned for #runch this Thursday - perfect time for a 5k bitchfest catch-up!
Oh yes - there will be SmartAssSelfies! Expect Fabulous! 
Last year, I was on my way to Ragnar SoCal - so did my virtual run at the SanFran Airport

Are you running #RNRLV?

Sunday 22 March 2015

Race Recap: Run for Larche 5miler

Do you ever have a day when you wake up and say "Ugh!", press snooze then pull the covers over your head?

Yup. SATURDAY was that day.

And then I hauled my sorry arse outta bed, got dressed an went to run a 5miler.


I have done the Run for L'arche a few times now - the half mara distance and the 5miler. And it is a great community run -- very well organized. And, frankly some of the BEST cheer squads and volunteers in any race I have ever done. I hadn't run the 5mile distance at this race since 2013 and had decided that after winning entry to this race I would "stick to the plan" and do the 5 miles.

I ran a 5miler 3weeks ago, had a heap of fun, but was slower than I wanted (56 mins). Still, not bad, but for the past week, I had a time goal for this one. Beat the last one. Then I mulled it over some more and went...hmmm. 50 minutes sounds good. That would be a PB for a 5 miler race. Yes. that will do just fine. Let's aim for that.
Now most of you who know me know I rarely DO time goals ...but I am trying to run shorter distances speedier in the hopes to drop it like it's hot at my next half marathon. But hey...if I don't aim or it, I am not gonna get it. So lets push. I know I can. 
So Friday after work I pick up my bib, package (yay...we get a new buff to wear too!) and shirt. I run into Karen (find her on twitter) - who then tells me her daughter did the artwork that appears on the race shirt. (check it out below) I make the decision right then to wear race shirt at race - total good race mojo if I know the artist! Katie and her mom often volunteer and cheer at a few local races - and Katie is a client of L'arche. It's nice to do a race for an organization that does great work - even better when you know people who benefit directly from the programming. The fact that someone who I think has the best smile and great energy will be waiting at the finish with a medal is total motivation!

Then I notice my bib number. 550. huh. 5 in 50 it is. I smile and realize ima gunna have a reminder of my race pace the whole way so I better make it count.
 I go home, lay out my gear, eat a little pasta and go to bed at a decent hour.

And wake up with a raging headache. BOO. 

That's ok. Get moving. Just need to run, it'll pass. I get to the race, run into Karen and we go off to find Katie at the start line.
And then of we go. I say outloud I need my headache to go away. We laugh and discuss scenarios (run fast til we pass out to stop the pain). I figure I will run along with Karen for a bit and see where it takes me. Pretty much she is pacing me faster than I might normally run, but I am feeling good, so I roll with it. Before I know it we are at the 4k turnaround!! Where there was the most FAB group of volunteers (From SERVICE MASTER) cheering us on! 
Sadly the photo I took of the "Don't Trust the Fart" sign didn't come out clear. (BAHAHAHA)

Karen is just ahead of me so I aim to chase her to the finish. I keep up pace, even passing several runners who were ahead of me most of the way. For the most part, I feel great. I am pushing, thinking 'gah...keep going'! I slow down a couple of times. At one point, with 3k to go I take a fast walk break on the bridge and I fast forward the music to a favourite motivator -- The Ding Dong Song (HEY -- no judging). OK - this song is redic - but for some reason it makes me laugh and push thru to RUN!

Because EVERYONE needs to hear Gunter sing "you touch my tralalala" here you go: 
(Video is not family Viewing)
You are WELCOME! where were we?  
oooh Yes with Gunther in hand (snicker) I boogie towards another set of awesome volunteers.
I have to get a hug and photo! 

And back I go. smiling all the way. today started meh and was finishing so awesomely. Fun, fun, fun. I gotta say - not sure if it was the case - but it felt like there were a pair of volunteers cheering us on every 500 metres. It really was great. I press on to the finish and get my medal, then see Katie for a hug and hi5!! And then turn off my watch.

I go inside to warm up and then realize I might have run 49 mins ... HOT DAMN. it turns out, I was close. 50:30!!! Not under 50 YET. But it is still a personal best for the 5 mile race.

I feel happy and so grateful to have got in a good solid strong FUN run. Having a run like that reminds me that I AM on track and just need to stay the course and will be just fine if I keep on with the training! (yes...believe, persevere, transcend ... it will happen). I ran better because I pushed thru and RAN more, kept up pace and didn't let my mind wander. HELLS YEAAH! Now to keep that shizz up for 20+km!!

I hung around inside for a bit, enjoyed a coffee, some fruit and then came out to hang and cheer the half marathoners in. I moved up towards the bridge at tseveral minutes past 2 hour mark to watch for Tara to cheer her on. I waited .... and finally she came in. She looked a bit pained so as soon as I spot her I start running alongside the last couple hundred metres with her yelling...move it,c'mon lets go...FASTER! ...I think I made her laugh.
 Clearly running while trying to snap a pic of Tara did not work so well. 
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. That was fun. A great start to the morning!! And then despite being a bit chilly stood out and cheered on runners for the next hour! Yay for balmy March weather too! Yup. LOVE a good community race!
Hope you all had a great weekend of running! 

All race proceeds of this race go to support the L'Arche Calgary community. L'Arche is an international organization of communities that create homes and programs for people with developmental disabilities.

Friday 20 March 2015

introducing ... FAB Friday!

Do you ever have one of those days?
In order to help you alleviate this mood, may I introduce ...

FAB Friday*!!
A silly frigging hilarious post is to help YOU me find some humour thru the wonderful AbFab goddesses Patsy and Edwina. 

FYI - a bit of background if you are not aware -- Absolutely Fabulous, also known as AbFab, was a BBC television sitcom. Starring the amazingly hilarious Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. It ran from 1992- 2012. This show made me howl. Pretty much my go to for a damn good laugh.

Perfect fodder for a Friday pick-me-up. Check back on Fridays for some FAB! xoxo

Life. It's Fabulous.
Embrace it. Love it.
Laugh yer arse off.

*ThankYou from the bottom of my heart to Cori for designing the FAB logo

Tuesday 17 March 2015

St Patrick's Road Race = FUN!

I have said it before. Gotta LOVE the Original Saint Patrick's Day Run!  So much fun. This year, Strides Running and New Balance had a special event just as package pickup was ending. Shoes 'n Brews...It was a ton o fun! A run, some beer tasting was a great way to start out the weekend. I am not really a beer lover, and I found a nice dark ale that was soo smooth and very enjoyable! 
I got home and then set out my race gear...and was good to go. 
Do you notice a lack of winter gear?? 
We were blessed to have great weather this year (and last year too). 

 I got to the race a good 45 mins early. 
The school was already teaming with people leprechauns!
Before I knew it it was go time!!
I have been running, but kind of struggling with the mental part of running. But I am trying to persevere. It was all about having fun and letting go of worry - the atmosphere of this race is perfect to get out there for some fun! AND yes...people were wearing SHORTS! I was 5C - nice and unseasonably warm for March!
Photo Cred: Neil Zeller 
So how did it go??
1. It was FUN - was there a question about that?
2. I didn't run my goal of under 69 minutes, but it was FUN
3. I did better than last year, and its a great stepping  blarney stone to keep moving and kicking ass.

For the most part the first few kilometers I went a bit too fast - par for the course for me on a race. But a small incline for the first bit kept me in check. I feel for the most part the race went exactly as planned. EXCEPT for the potty break. Handily just before the 5k mark there was a porta-potty in the part. I hate that bathroom issue, but glad I went, so then I felt comfortable for the rest of the race. There were a couple of spots I let my head get to me and slowed down or walked...but then I just turned up the tunes and got right back atter. Every time I felt myself slowing down, I tried to pep myself back up again.

And when I knew I had 2k left to go, I pushed willed myself to keep up the pace and not listen to the "i'm tired" voice. I really tried to push the last mile...and really, should have pushed harder the last kilometer -- I sort of didn't push that last stretch. Buuuut - that said, I was happy with the race. Had I not had to "go", I would have hit my initial time goal.  I am getting closer to nailing where I want to be...and if I can nail two of these times back-to-back, I could really challenge my personal best half mara time. Was a great day for a run. I finished, had some water, ran into several friends, got some visiting in, ate some veggie chili, had a swig of beer, and took some fun arsey photos.

Posing for the camera - wait there was the official photographer...and Tara's boyfriend taking pics - Love the comparison of these two.
Neil Zeller was there taking fun photo booth shots - love this!

I also kept busy taking some pics for the Race's official twitter account.
Trev took these pics of me taking pics and tweeting!
Clearly, we all like to take pics.
I believe our winners weighed 9 cases and 13 cases, respectively! 
Honestly - best grand prize of a race - the beer sponsor - Village Brewery - provides one woman and one man a prize - their weight in beer. The weigh in in MIGHT be as fun as the winning part.
(please can someone draw MY name??)
Can't wait for next year!

Did you have a fun Saint Patrick's Day?? 
Didya Run for Beer? 
Get Lucky at a Race? 
(yes i know...luck has nothing to do with it...its all work!)